X-energy picks constructor collaborators

July 22, 2022, 12:09PMNuclear News

Rockville, Md.–based X-energy announced yesterday that it has selected Zachry Group and a combined team from Burns & McDonnell and Day & Zimmermann to work with the company on the next phases of design and deployment for its Xe-100 small modular reactor fleet.

Savannah River leverages its tritium experience to support fusion power

July 22, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
Savannah River National Laboratory (Photo: DOE)

When the Department of Energy announced Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) awards earlier this month, Savannah River National Laboratory was named a recipient of two of the 18 awards. SRNL released a statement on July 19 explaining how a national lab with a long history of supporting environmental management and national security missions can lend a hand in the development of future commercial fusion power.

Europe’s changing energy markets described in latest trade reports

July 22, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The European energy data-analysis company EnAppSys has released its second quarter (April–June 2022) electricity market reports: GB Electricity Market Summary and European Electricity Generation Summary. A major focus of both publications is the considerable effects of the war in Ukraine on the European energy markets. The reports also describe how the nuclear energy market in Europe during the second quarter was forced to adapt to reductions in supplies from France due to corrosion and cracking problems that prompted shutdowns in the French nuclear fleet.

U.K. greenlights Sizewell C project

July 21, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
A computer-generated rendering of the Sizewell site on the Suffolk coast. Sizewell A and B are to the left and center (respectively) in this image; the section to the right is the Sizewell C area. (Image: EDF Energy)

The U.K. government has granted a development consent order (DCO) for EDF Energy’s proposed Sizewell C plant near Leiston in Suffolk, moving the new nuclear build project closer to a reality.

Nuclear New Build (NBB) Generation Company, an EDF Energy subsidiary, submitted the DCO application to the government’s Planning Inspectorate in May 2020, setting out the range of measures the project would implement to mitigate construction effects and maximize community benefits. The Planning Inspectorate accepted the application in June 2020 and completed its examination in October 2021. Recommendations were made to the secretary of state for business, energy, and industrial strategy this February.

TAE Technologies secures investments to fund fusion research reactor

July 21, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Copernicus, TAE’s sixth-generation fusion reactor. (Image: TAE)

California-based TAE Technologies has announced that its accomplishments with its fifth-generation fusion research reactor, Norman, have allowed it to secure sufficient strategic and institutional investments to fund the construction of its sixth-generation research reactor, Copernicus.

USA summit combines industry business and charity fundraising

July 21, 2022, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe
John Wagner, director of Idaho National Laboratory and president of Batelle Energy Alliance, delivered the keynote address at the 26th Annual Nuclear Generator & Supplier Executive Summit. (Photo: USA)

The 26th Annual Nuclear Generator and Supplier Executive Summit, hosted by Utilities Service Alliance (USA), was held at the Coeur d’Alene Golf and Spa Resort in Idaho from June 28 through July 1. About 375 attendees were present for this year’s meeting, themed “Nuclear’s Next Wave” which featured presentations and discussions on emerging nuclear technologies and designs, as well as an integrated tradeshow with about 50 industry suppliers exhibiting products, services, and ideas.

Bruce Power, BWXT sign major component manufacturing deal

July 21, 2022, 6:55AMNuclear News
The Bruce plant’s Unit 6 upper feeder cabinet. (Photo: Bruce Power)

As part of its “Made in Ontario” strategy announced last year, Bruce Power has awarded a contract valued at C$130 million (about US$100.8 million) to BWXT Canada in support of the ongoing major component replacement (MCR) project at the utility’s eight-unit Bruce nuclear plant.

ANS virtual event: Experts share their expectations for low-dose radiation research

July 20, 2022, 3:00PMANS News

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics released a report in June recommending that the United States invest a total of $1.5 billion in low-dose radiation research over the next 15 years. Congress is working through the Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations process at this writing, and many in the nuclear community are hopeful that research programs that have been starved of funding and leadership will be reinvigorated and bring long-overdue clarity to questions of low-dose radiation science, policy, and regulation.

Kairos Power and Materion commission fluoride salt purification plant

July 20, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News
(Photo: Kairos Power)

Kairos Power needs a source of high-purity fluoride salt to test its molten salt reactor design and ultimately to serve as the coolant in its grid-scale fluoride salt–cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR). As part of a cooperative development agreement with Materion Corporation, Kairos Power designed a molten salt purification plant (MSPP) that has just been commissioned at Materion’s campus in Elmore, Ohio.

AP1000 plant license process in Ukraine advances

July 20, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
(Photo: Energoatom)

Westinghouse has signed a new contract with Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear utility, to provide technical information in support of Energoatom’s feasibility study update for the construction of two Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The contract, according to Westinghouse’s announcement, advances the previously signed agreement between Westinghouse and Energoatom for the construction of two of the Generation III+ reactors at Khmelnytskyi Units 5 and 6.

From NIA: New and updated reports on advanced nuclear

July 20, 2022, 7:00AMANS Nuclear Cafe

The Nuclear Innovation Alliance (NIA), a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit, has released a new report, Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology: A Company Compendium, along with an update to its Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology: A Primer, first published last September.

Both reports are meant to serve as resources for investors, reporters, policymakers, regulators, and others wanting to learn more about the different technologies and key players involved in the design, licensing, construction, and operation of advanced nuclear reactors.

Energy Northwest, Curio partner on recycling used fuel

July 19, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News
Energy Northwest’s Columbia Generating Station, in Richland, Wash. (Photo: Energy Northwest)

Energy Northwest, owner and operator of Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Wash., recently signed a memorandum of understanding with nuclear technology firm Curio Solutions regarding Curio’s NuCycle nuclear waste recycling process.

Columbia is the Northwest’s only operating nuclear power plant, consisting of one 1,207-MWe boiling water reactor. There are currently 54 concrete and steel casks on site, holding the spent fuel produced by the reactor since it began commercial operation in 1984.

OPG adds nuclear to Green Bond Framework

July 19, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News
Darlington's refurbishment to be aided by Green Bond Framework funds. (Photo: OPG)

Ontario Power Generation has updated its Green Bond Framework to include nuclear energy in recognition of the role the technology stands to play in helping the company reach its decarbonization goals. (OPG’s climate change plan, established in 2020, commits the firm to achieving net-zero carbon emission status by 2040.)

The green bonds issued by the utility and its subsidiaries are used to finance and/or refinance certain energy projects and support the development of clean technologies.

INL researchers take microreactor digital twin for a spin

July 19, 2022, 9:30AMNuclear News
A screenshot taken from a INL video demonstrating MAGNET and its digital twin. (Source: INL)

Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently performed their first digital twin test of the Microreactor Agile Non-nuclear Experimental Testbed (MAGNET) and captured the demonstration in a video posted July 14. The digital twin—a virtual representation of a microreactor—was built using advancements in remote monitoring, autonomous control, and predictive capabilities that could help lower operating costs of microreactor technologies and enhance their safety.

House subcommittee asks for improvements to nuclear cleanup strategy

July 19, 2022, 7:07AMRadwaste Solutions
Rep. Jamaal Bowman during a hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy.

The House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing last week to evaluate the Department of Energy’s approach to research and development on new strategies and technologies to support the nuclear waste cleanup mission of its Office of Environmental Management (EM).

JET’s 2021 fusion achievement settles a bet more than three decades old

July 18, 2022, 3:04PMNuclear News
A plaque honoring JET’s world record–setting achievement of fusion energy production of 50 megajoules in a single shot (right) and commemorating a 34-year-old bet between Goldston (top left) and Jacquinot (bottom left). (Photo: PPPL and EUROfusion consortium/collage by Kiran Sudarsanan)

A wager struck by two plasma physicists 34 years ago was finally fulfilled in June during the opening day of the 48th European Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics, when Robert Goldston, former director of the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), virtually presented a plaque to his friend and colleague Jean Jacquinot, former director of the Joint European Torus (JET), EUROfusion's flagship fusion experiment based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom. Their bet, and JET’s record-breaking achievements in 2021, were celebrated in an article published by PPPL on July 8.

Construction of Shin-Hanul-3 and -4 to resume

July 18, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News
Artist's rendering of Shin-Hanul Units 3 and 4. (Image: KHNP)

South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, appears to be following through on his campaign pledge to reverse the previous administration’s domestic nuclear phaseout plan. Earlier this month, Yoon’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy announced a new direction for the nation’s energy policy—one that calls for, among other things, a reembrace of nuclear power. A further announcement on the subject last week provided additional details.

Defending the nuclear discipline

July 18, 2022, 9:32AMNuclear NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

If you keep tabs on nuclear in popular culture, you know that Netflix recently released a four-part series entitled Meltdown: Three Mile Island. Nominally listed as a “documentary,” the series starts out with a generally accurate chronology of the 1979 event. However, it soon veers off the rails into an uncorroborated conspiracy theory of how the cleanup team risked “wiping out the entire East Coast” in their haste to complete the job on time. Nuclear Newswire has done a fantastic job of unpacking the distortions and outright falsehoods in “Meltdown: Drama disguised as a documentary."

Netflix showrunners were clearly more interested in maximizing the number of eyeballs on their content than in the accuracy of the information they present. But should that make us angry? Netflix is not a news organization; they are a highly algorithm-driven purveyor of video entertainment. Their “recommendation engine” knows what we want, and we happily let them spoon-feed us our next binge watch.

New Mexico governor vows that state will not accept spent fuel

July 18, 2022, 7:01AMNuclear News

In response to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recommendation to issue a license to Holtec International for the construction of an interim nuclear waste storage site in southeastern New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham released a statement condemning the regulatory agency as “effectively choosing profit over public interest.”

Staying cool in the desert: New options for Palo Verde

July 15, 2022, 3:14PMNuclear NewsBy Brad Berles
A view of Palo Verde-3 and a spray pond, as seen from Unit 2. (Photo: APS)

In the western part of Michigan, where I grew up and spent the early part of my career, water availability was rarely a concern or a topic that might appear in the news. Lake Michigan was a plentiful source of water, and Mother Nature always provided plenty of precipitation to keep things green. If anything, sometimes folks wished it would stop raining! So it was quite a big change in environment when in 2008 my career took me to the desert of Arizona and the Palo Verde Generating Station, with annual regional rainfall totals of three inches in a good year.